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Housing Starts Fall in February

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 8, 2001 — The annual rate of housing starts in Canada dropped 8.6 per cent in February according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The annual rate was 156,100 housing starts* last month compared to a rate of 170,700 in January.

Urban single-detached dwelling starts reached their highest level since March 2000. The annual rate of urban single-detached starts rose to 83,300 in February, a gain of 6.7 per cent compared with 78,100 in January. Urban multiple dwelling starts fell 26.9 per cent to an annual rate of 53,700 from 73,500 in January. This decline appeared in all provinces except Quebec.

"In spite of the decline in housing starts which reflects the volatility in the multiples sector, the market remains in good shape," said John-John D'Argensio, economist at the CMHC Market Analysis Centre. "Since May 2000, single-detached construction has shown an upward trend partially explained by a high occupation rate at completion. "According to latest results, 85 per cent of completions were occupied in January and this, combined with falling mortgage rates, will help support the housing market", added John-John D'Argensio.

* All starts figures in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR), that is, raw monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect an annual pace. Other CMHC local and provincial releases may present analysis using raw figures.

For further information please contact:

John D'Argensio
CMHC
(613) 748-2300 ext: 3500
jdargens@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


HOUSING STARTS
ACTUAL AND SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ANNUAL DATA



JANUARY 2001
FINAL
FEBRUARY 2001
PRELIMINARY
PROVINCE ACTUAL SAAR ACTUAL SAAR
NEWFOUNDLAND 35 800 13 800
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND 16 500 3 200
NOVA SCOTIA 217 3,900 155 3,300
NEW BRUNSWICK 147 3,000 64 2,700
QUEBEC 960 20,700 1,100 26,600
ONTARIO 4,602 76,300 3,712 68,000
MANITOBA 76 1,600 77 1,700
SASKATCHEWAN 87 1,700 55 1,300
ALBERTA 1,581 24,200 1,193 18,700
BRITISH COLUMBIA 1,191 18,900 949 13,700
TOTAL (+10,000 pop.) 8,912 151,600 7,321 137,000
OTHER AREA ESTIMATES
(Less than 10,000 pop.)
630 19,100 529 19,100
CANADA 9,542 170,700 7,850 156,100


Canadian housing starts for February 2001